OPINION: A few months after Edward Snowden leaked a tranche of NSA documents to Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald, the two journalists, along with Jeremy Scahill, started talking about whether or not they should set up a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new media outlet. While the idea was still percolating, they were informed by a mutual friend of Pierre Omidyar’s that the billionaire was also tossing around the idea of starting a news organization and he was interested in bringing them aboard.
The three of them eventually came to an agreement with Omidyar despite the fact that his company, PayPal, was involved in a banking blockade against WikiLeaks three years prior. In July 2011, fourteen suspected members of Anonymous were arrested in the U.S. on suspicion of taking part in denial-of-service attacks against PayPal during #OpPayback, an online operation that was launched in retaliation for the blockage.
On February 9, 2013, the trio launched an online digital magazine called The Intercept and its co-founders promised “unflinching analysis” and “adversarial journalism.” The media platform was funded by Omidyar under the umbrella of his company, First Look Media.
Eighteen days later, Radack’s client/not client, Daniel Hale, asked Scahill via text messaging if they could meet in the following days. Hale had just printed out six documents marked SECRET and TOP SECRET the day before, all of which were later published by The Intercept.
Approximately five weeks later, on April 5th, Radack committed what appears to be her second criminal offense:
She was arrested and released on her own recognizance just in time to fly to Los Angeles and appear as a guest speaker during the Government Accountability Project’s “American Whistleblower Tour.”
A few days after that she jetted off to New York to celebrate the Polk Awards with Greenwald and Poitras. It was the first time that the duo had returned to the U.S. since they broke Snowden’s NSA story. This picture was taken three days before Radack’s arraignment:
Meanwhile, approximately eleven days after Radack was able to free herself from perhaps the confines of the local police department, neo-Nazi Andrew Auernheimer a.k.a. “Weev” also escaped the clutches of the U.S. justice system.
Weev has been described as a “white supremacist and anti-Semite, as well as a notorious American hacker and online troll.” He also contributes (or did) to the far-right, white supremacist website, Daily Stormer, which “aptly takes its name from the gutter Nazi propaganda sheet known as Der Stürmer.”
On the night of the Polk Awards, he was released from the Allenwood Federal Correction Center and picked up by journalist, Dan Stuckey, and his attorney, Tor Ekeland. Stuckey and journalist Dell Cameron used to co-admin Anonymous’ largest Twitter account, @YourAnonNews, and in 2015, they were seen socializing in a hot tub with none other than Anonymous’ most notorious snitch, Sabu. From my 2018 article, “Under Attack Part Eight: The Syria Files”:
On March 15, 2015, the Anonymous community came to a screeching halt after former Vice journalist Dan Stuckey…along with Dell Cameron and Andrew Blake, posted a Vine of himself and former FBI informant Sabu enjoying a leisurely soak in a hot tub. Sabu is heard saying on the video, ‘I’m with Dan Stuckey. Fuck Anonymous. We’re at fuckin’ Spa Castle. Expect my review soon, bitches!’
Yikes. After Stuckey and Ekeland retrieved Weev, the crew headed back to New York where Ekeland runs his legal practice and celebrated his newfound freedom at a friend’s apartment who had set up a small welcome home party.
According to Bloomberg, at some point during the weekend, Weev attended a party with Greenwald and Poitras but details are lacking so it’s unknown if it’s the same party that allegedly took place at Pilosoft:
Pilosoft is a data center in New York that’s owned by Russian hacker, Aleksandr Pilosov. Krebsonsecurity.com warned everyone about it a year before the Polk Awards::
The most malicious U.S. network listed by Google — a data center run by a company in New York called Pilosoft — is no stranger to lists charting the top sources of badness online. Pilosoft figured prominently in Operation Ghost Click, a U.S. Justice Department takedown targeting the DNS Changer botnet, which had a significant portion of its operations based at Pilosoft. Google says it has scanned 13 percent of Pilosoft’s network, and found that more than half of the sites it scanned were malicious.
Last year, Barrett Brown reported that Weev had allegedly started working for Peter Thiel after his release from prison:
His statement stems from Weev brazenly pressuring one of the PayPal14 defendants named Mercedes Haefer back in 2014. A month after the Polk Awards, he demanded that she tell the other defendants to “stop shit talking PayPal mafia dudes while I talk to them.”
He also told her that Pierre Omidyar was “a friend of a close friend,” so, in other words, Weev appeared to be acting as a middle man for the same guy who purchased PayPal back in 2002 and bankrolled The Intercept, and the PayPal14 who were being prosecuted for disrupting PayPal’s service in response to the company’s banking blockade against WikiLeaks.
While Weev was maybe partying at a sketchy New York data center run by a Russian hacker, Daniel Hale had already started printing out SECRET and TOP SECRETS documents weeks prior. By the time his attorney/not attorney was arrested on a felony charge in early April, he had already printed seven sets of documents, all of which were published by The Intercept in 2015.
One set, which was designated letter “G” in the government’s superseding indictment, was printed just two days before Radack was arrested. Four more sets were printed a week after the Polk Awards. Hale ran his final print job on August 5th and three days later he was raided by the FBI during the filming of Sonia Konnebeck’s film, National Bird.
Radack just happened to be working as general counsel on the film and so after Hale called Konnebeck for help, she put him in touch with Radack. In a recent clip posted by @CodePink, Radack told her audience that Hale “showed up on her doorstep” like this was some sort of shock and awe episode rather than the fairly uneventful sequence of events that actually transpired.
The only shocking part of this story is that Radack had just made a deal with a Virginia prosecutor to reduce her felony down to a misdemeanor one month before the raid took place and it doesn’t seem like anyone knew about it, including Hale.
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